An investigation of the validity of a test of sex-role development in children



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The research reported here was designed to investigate the validity of a newly constructed test of sex-role development in young children. In an earlier study (Shawver & Williams, 1970), standardization data for this instrument were collected on a sample of kindergarten, first, and second grade boys and girls. In the present study, it was hypothesized that scores on this test could be predicted on the basis of ratings of children as to their sex-role maturity made by acquainted adults. To test this hypothesis, raters from five different agencies were asked to nominate children who struck them as either deviant or immature (Experimental group) or as normal (Control group). In all, 64 children were nominated and tested. Distributions of scores and subtest scores from these three samples (Experimental, Control, and Normative) were compared. As predicted, there were significantly more low scoring boys in the Experimental group than there were in either the Control or Normative group. On the other hand, girls whom adults nominated as deviant or immature did not tend to earn lower scores than did the girls in the other group. It was concluded that the study yielded evidence as to the validity of the test as an indicator of sex-role development for boys, but not for girls.



Sex role, Child development--Testing